Joan Jonas’ Career Survey at the Tate Modern

Joan Jonas and her poodle, Ozu, at Tate Modern in London this month. Ozu has appeared in several of Ms. Jonas’s works. Credit Tom Jamieson for The New York Times

A major feature about Joan Jonas, ACT’s Professor Emerita, on the occasion of her career survey at the Tate Modern was just published in the New York Times:

Four months shy of her 82nd birthday, Ms. Jonas has her biggest museum show yet: a career survey at Tate Modern in the British capital. As museums increasingly branch out into performance and film, the artist is finally reaching mainstream audiences — and perplexing one or two critics along the way….

“Ms. Jonas is popular with art students, and not just those who studied with her at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she taught from 1998 to 2014. (She is now a professor emerita at the university.) Her pieces retain “a perpetual potential for rearrangement and remaking,” said Catherine Wood, who curated the Tate show’s live performances. “This is part of what makes her work so appealing for a contemporary generation.”

Full article here.

Jonas is a pioneer of video and performance art, and an acclaimed multimedia artist whose work typically encompasses video, performance, installation, sound, text, and drawing. Trained in art history and sculpture, Jonas was a central figure in the performance art movement of the late 1960s, and her experiments and productions in the late 1960s and early 1970s continue to be crucial to the development of many contemporary art genres, from performance and video to conceptual art and theater. Since 1968, her practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures.

A New York native, Jonas continues to live and work in New York City. She received a B.A. in Art History from Mount Holyoke College in 1958, studied sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and received an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Columbia University in 1965. Jonas has taught at MIT since 1998, and is currently Professor Emerita in the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology within the School of Architecture and Planning.